How to Apply DaVinci Resolve Transitions in Your Videos

DaVinci Resolve January 31, 2020 4 min read

In today’s tutorial, we’ll overview some of DaVinci Resolve’s built-in transitions, how to apply these default transitions to your clips, and customize them to get the right look for your video.

While a lot of the time, you’ll be just fine using a direct cut from one shot to the other, it’s important to note that using some creativity to go from one shot to the next can improve the flow of your edit. Using transitions can even help you connect two shots that appeared alienated from each other.  

Let’s dive in and learn more about using transitions in DaVinci Resolve!

Part 1: DaVinci Resolve Video Transitions Tutorial

You should know there are five different categories of transitions in Resolve, although you could argue there are only three big groups. Each one could have a distinct effect on the flow of your video, so let’s try to understand which one is the best in each situation. 

  • Dissolve: One of the most classic transitions from filming. A shot fades into the next one or a black screen.
  • Iris/Shape: Shot B gradually masks Shot A out, shaped like a circle or any other shape you can think of until it occupies the entire screen.
  • Wipe, Motion: Shot B pushes away or covers Shot  A. 
DaVinci Resolve Video Transitions

While there are lots of options to choose from, the most important thing to keep in mind is to be consistent. You shouldn’t use transitions as a one-time-only trick, because it will stick out for your audience. Your transition choices should be part of the editing style, meaning that if you apply a transition once, you should apply that type of transition two or three times throughout the video. 

Now, let’s see how to apply these default video transitions in DaVinci Resolve.

Step 1: Bring Your Footage into Resolve

Import your footage into the media pool (the keyboard shortcut for import is ⌘-I). You can also drag and drop the footage from a Finder’s window. 

Step 2: Create a Timeline & Start editing

Next, it’s time to create a new timeline. The simplest way is to select your clips and right-click on them and choose Create New Timeline From Selected Clips.

Creating a timeline this way guarantees the size and frame rate will be the same as your clips. If you need a different setup, go to Use Custom Settings while creating the timeline. 

Then go to the Edit tab to start working. Once you have your clips next to each other in the timeline, you are ready to apply the transition. 

Step 3: Apply a Transition

Make sure the Effects Library is displayed. You’ll find it on the upper right side of the screen, right next to the Media Pool. Once activated, all effects will be displayed. Select Video Transitions if needed.

Drag and drop the desired transition over the clips in the timeline. A transparent box will appear between the clips: That’s your transition! 

If the white box appears over one clip or doesn’t appear at all—don’t panic! There is nothing wrong with the settings. It just means one clip does not have enough frames for the transition. You’ll have to make sure the clips are long enough. 

Step 4: Adjustments

To adjust the duration of a transition directly on the timeline, drag the sides of the white box until you reach the desired length. 

The ideal duration depends on the flow of your edit. To make sure the transition works well, watch from 10 seconds or so before the cut, not just the affected clips.

Also, you can modify the timing of the transition by selecting it in the timeline and then clicking on the white square button inside the transition. You’ll be able to adjust the acceleration of the transition using keyframes in the curves below.

If visual adjustments are not precise enough for you, there is good news for you. Parametric customization. This is how you do it. 

First, make sure the Inspector panel is enabled. You can open it by clicking the Inspector icon in the upper left corner of the screen. Then, select your transition to display its options on the Inspector. 

You can adjust every relevant parameter: duration, style, color, timing, and more. If you are unfamiliar with some of the options displayed here, play with them until you understand them.

Part 2: Create Your Own Transitions

If none of the default transitions suits your project, you can always create your own. DaVinci Resolve offers a deep variety of tools, and Fusion is not the lesser of them. If you’ve never heard of Fusion, it’s the DaVinci version of After Effects. It’s integrated within Resolve as a tab between Edit and Color. 

As you get more comfortable with the program, keep in mind that you can design your animations, export them as a video, and use them as a transition. Learn more about getting started with DaVinci Resolve’s Fusion by checking out this article

Part 3: Download Transition Templates

If after playing with the transitions available in DaVinci for a bit, you decide you need something with more pizzaz, try browsing Motion Array’s library of DaVinci Resolve transition templates. You might just get inspired or find the perfect download for your next video.

So that’s it! You are now ready to apply the default video transitions in DaVinci Resolve, to quickly customize them on the timeline, or to use the parametric settings on the Inspector window. And assuredly, you won’t use just any transition, but the right one!